Man oh man, this was a rough game for Butler Bulldogs fans to watch. Well, I guess I should say the second half was rough to watch. Butler came out hot in the first half, and led the Villanova Wildcats 38-35 at the half, but Villanova ended up bouncing back and winning 86-75. Butler’s offense wasn’t the same in the second half, as the Dogs got into foul trouble very early in the second half. The biggest missed opportunity on the offensive end for Butler came in the final couple minutes of the game when Butler was within six points, and Paul Jorgenson turned the ball over while he was wide open from three.
Kamar Baldwin and Kelan Martin were the only Bulldogs that showed up for this game on offense. Martin led the way for the Bulldogs with 30 points, scoring 17 in the first half. Baldwin put in 25 on one of his more efficient shooting nights. Besides Nate Fowler’s eight, no other Bulldog scored more than five points. That was the big killer for Butler, and until they get a third player that can consistently score, they will struggle against the better teams in the country.
Jalen Brunson and Donte DiVincenzo led the way for the Wildcats with 27 and 30 points, respectively. DiVincenzo’s 30 was a career high, but he seemed to get away with a lot of push offs to create space on his shots. Omari Spellman and Mikal Bridges also added 10 points each.
The Bulldogs fought hard, but couldn’t quite pull through against Xavier or Villanova. Butler is now 17-9 overall, while being 7-6 in the Big East. Butler’s next three games are at home, so winning those are critical for Butler’s tournament hopes, as their last two games after that are on the road. If Butler wins three of their next five, they should be in the Tournament.